Corporate Interests and Their Impact on News Coverage

2343 Words5 Pages

Corporate Interests and Their Impact on News Coverage


There is no denying that news media is big business. The complete coverage of stories and investigative reports are certainly at risk with the rise of media as a business, rather than strictly a service to the public. Over the past few years, there have been a number of cases where television stations or news publications have killed news stories or forced reporters to slant stories due to pressure from advertisers or those in power at the news. This paper will attempt to examine the relationship between social responsibility and news editors, and apply ethical theories to explain what should and can be done. Should editors have the power to kill or slant stories, depending on their own interests or those of their advertisers?

Literature Review

A number of books and articles investigated the relationship between corporate and advertising interests and news coverage. In the May/June 2000 issue of Columbia Journalism Review, Lowell Bergman wrote an article entitled, "Network television news: With fear and favor." Bergman sums up his findings by saying, "Executives of the network news divisions say that they will report any story of public interest and import without fear or favor, without considering its potential commercial consequences. They say that, but they do not believe it" (p. 50).

Karl Idsvoog's journal article, "TV sitting on stories to improve ratings," claims that "the decision on when (or if) to run a piece is no longer determined just by asking is the report concise, clear, and well produced; is it fair, thorough and accurate? There are now more critical questions. What's the lead-in? Where do we place the promotion? Will it deliver bett...

... middle of paper ...

...V sitting on stories to improve ratings. Nieman Reports, 1, 38.

Jensen, C. (1996). Censored: The news that didn't make the news and why. New York: Seven Stories Press.

Kirtley, J. (1998). Second-guessing news judgment. American Journalism Review, 20, 86.

Krajicek, D.J. (1998). Scooped! Media miss real story on crime while chasing sex, sleaze, and celebrities. New York: Columbia University Press.

McCartney, J. (1997). News lite. In B. Levy & D.M. Bonilla (Eds.), The power of the press (pp. 44-54). New York: The H.W. Wilson Company.

Trigoboff, D. (2000, August 28). Reporter wins in milk suit. Broadcasting & Cable, 130, 27.

Winch, S.P. (2000). Ethical challenges for investigative journalism. In M. Greenwald & J. Bernt (Eds.), The big chill: Investigative reporting in the current media environment (pp. 121-136). Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press.

Open Document